February 19, 2019

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Arcades

3 Minute Read

Top Tips to Keep Your Games Running Smoothly

One of the most essential duties of a Technician is to schedule and perform preventative maintenance and cleaning tasks for arcade game machines. Just like changing the oil and filters in your car, these tasks will help ensure that your games have the best chance to perform at their highest earning potential.

Cohn Restaurant Group Game Room- Preventative Maintenance

Following these steps and keeping up with a good maintenance schedule will make your games look more aesthetically pleasing and help promote return visits to your facility, increasing foot traffic and revenue.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Before You Start

Always refer to the game’s operator’s manual because each game might require special cleaning procedures. Also, the game must be turned off when performing the cleaning tasks.

Look before you start. Give your games a good visual safety inspection. Look for anything that will cause harm to the customer – broken plastic, a loose screw, and other harmful items that can cause an injury. This is something that each employee should be made aware of, and they should constantly survey the location while reporting anything that can cause an issue.

Keep It Clean

Clean the cabinet’s exterior using a mild general-purpose cleaner – do not use any commercial glass cleaners unless specifically instructed by the game’s manufacturer. It’s also important to never use paper towels to clean Plexi Glass, as this will scratch the glass. Instead, use a soft rag, such as a microfiber towel, to ensure no marks or scratches will be left on the game.

All cabinet vents and fans should also be cleaned of dust buildup. Ensure the fans operate properly once you’ve cleaned off the dust, and change the vents and fans as needed.

Vacuuming inside arcade cabinet.

Inside the Cabinet

The interior of the cabinet should be vacuumed occasionally. Some games, by design, develop more dust and dirt and need to be cleaned more frequently than others.

Much like the exterior, ensure no loose items are in the cabinet. This can cause a short or block the ventilation fans, which can cause more severe issues down the line. To clean the ticket dispensers on the redemption games, use a can of compressed air to block out the notch sensor. When the cabinet is open, check the steering belts and change them if needed.

Finally, play the games to ensure everything is working correctly and ensure all I/O functions are tested. Be sure to re-calibrate any controls and replace parts as needed.

To summarize:

  1. First, give your games a good visual safety inspection.
  2. Clean the cabinet’s exterior; use a mild general-purpose cleaner.
  3. Only use a soft rag, such as a microfiber towel.
  4. Check and clean all cabinet vents and fans.
  5. The interior cabinet should be vacuumed occasionally.
  6. Use compressed air to blow out the ticket notch sensor on all ticket dispensers.
  7. Check steering belts and change them if needed.
  8. Games should be played, and all I/O functions should be tested.
  9. Re-calibrate any controls and replace any parts as needed.

Bonus Tip: One of the most important things you can do for your team is to get them trained. Betson offers an in-depth class called Betson Technical University, where we do two days of hands-on training.

Preventative maintenance is very important; making a schedule and doing these simple steps can save time, money, and headaches. Plus, it will keep customers happy and safe.

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Rob Zigmont

Rob Zigmont is Vice President of Operations for Betson Enterprises, overseeing the service team and company initiatives like Betson Technical University.


  • Zac Oliver / / Reply

    Very nice, common sense approach and concise advice on preventive maintenance. More detailed technical tips could have been added but that likely would be covered on the two day seminar. Hopefully the readers would follow these pragmatic suggestions.
    Nicely done!

  • Thanks for pointing out that we should make sure that it is always clean. I also like that you talked about using a mild cleaner to keep the glass and the machine undamaged. I will keep that in mind since I plan to buy an arcade game machine for our game room. This will be a gift for my son who loves playing those things ever since he was a teen.

  • Thank you for saying to always keep the machine clean. The pinball machine at the place I work has gone out of service but I think it just needs a simple repair. I will make sure to keep this tip in mind as I find someone to fix the machine.

  • I liked that you mentioned the interior of your arcade should be vacuumed occasionally to keep it working properly. My husband bought an arcade system for the living room, and he is looking for advice about how to give it maintenance. I will recommend him to clean inside the cabinet frequently to keep it working properly.

  • Very rarely, owners and users of slot machines have the necessary knowledge and tools to diagnose the state of the machine first, and then, if necessary, repair it. Buying a slot machine is only half the battle. Indeed, without proper maintenance of the equipment, you can not only not get the desired result, but also completely be left with nothing completely, ruining an expensive device. Based on this, if you have an idea to purchase a slot machine, choose the company that will not only sell you the slot machine, but will also be ready to answer your questions, help you install and bring it into working order.

  • It should be common sense to do routine cleaning on your systems. Especially now with COVID. Shops are reopening now including arcade systems where I live but only to a few individuals that can get it. Thank you for this informative article though. Cheers!

  • Nice article! Many thanks to you for this information!

  • Nice article! I will recommend him to clean inside the cabinet frequently to keep it working properly.

  • A good article, informative, now the world of the game industry and, in particular, the arcade is very popular and therefore you need to know how to support the audience in your hall and in this article it is very interesting about this, thanks for the information.

  • daniel / / Reply

    I think I saw a video about it on https://www.youtube.com/, it’s good that there is such a service

  • Way back when we were still operating ROWE CD JUKEBOXES. The COLLECTION man always had extra time on Fridays because we didn’t do any collecting on Fridays. We got them to go round and clean The CDs wash them and run a damp rag threw the interior of the jukebox. once they did that our
    Service calls dropped tremendously. And the revenues picked up. Pinball machines take the batteries off the MPU/CPU Boards in pins. remote mount a battery holder with 6 inches of wire going to the board. That way your battery acid don’t eat your board up. Oh, there’s so many things that we used to do when I have time now, I don’t have two competent technicians working with me so I have to train the new people and they don’t wanna listen to this old man. Well good luck.

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